Time Ignores Climate Change to Paint a ‘Golden Age’ of Fracking

You have to wonder: Do journalists covering energy issues imagine they and their loved ones are going to be living on another planet in the not-too-distant future?

That seems like the only reason you would write a piece about the world discovering ways to extract and burn vast new quantities of hydrocarbons without mentioning one word about climate change. That’s what Bryan Walsh gave us in the May 21 issue of Time magazine–an article about fracking that doesn’t mention the technology’s powerful contribution to global warming.

The headline over this article: “The Golden Age.”

Walsh does refer to fracking’s ecological impact, referring to “environmental concerns over fracking–chiefly the possibility of groundwater pollution.” The groundwater contamination associated with fracking is certainly bad, but most environmentalists will tell you that climate change is the biggest challenge facing humanity–and that finding new ways to burn carbon (and release methane as well) is utterly unhelpful.

Walsh concludes his article: “Fracking is here to stay, scrambling a global energy picture that had long seemed settled.” Actually, the only thing that was settled was that people would have to totally reinvent their energy systems if they wanted to avoid catastrophe. But for Time magazine, ignoring that catastrophe seems to be the next best thing.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.